How to Build an Indoor Cat Enclosure

Written by marie mulrooney
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Contrary to what the name might suggest, an indoor cat enclosure is not a structure inside the house. An indoor cat enclosure is actually a cage built outside the house. This lets the cat experience a taste of the outdoors while still protecting it from predators and preventing its escape. It's much like a dog run except that, since cats are adept climbers, it also has a roof to contain the cat. The roof also protects the cat from birds of prey and other predators. These plans are for an indoor cat enclosure that is 6 feet high, 4-feet-2-inches deep and 5-feet-4-inches wide. One person can construct it in an afternoon, but an assistant is helpful throughout the process.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Four 2-inch-by-2-inch-by-6-feet posts
  • Four 2-inch-by-2-inch-by-5-feet posts
  • Four 2-inch-by-2-inch-by-4-feet posts
  • Three 2-inch-by-2-inch-by-2-feet posts
  • 3-inch or longer nails
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Staple gun
  • Baling wire

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Select a location for your indoor cat enclosure. It should butt up against an existing indoor-outdoor cat door.

  2. 2

    Use the hammer and nails to assemble a rough frame for your indoor cat enclosure: The 6-foot posts will be vertical corner supports, the 5-foot posts will be nailed horizontally at top and bottom of two opposing sides, and the 4-foot posts will make up top and bottom of the other two sides. Once you're finished with this step you should have a giant empty cube made of 2-inch-by-2-inch posts.

  3. 3

    Make a mini-frame for a small entrance to the indoor cat enclosure. Measure the existing indoor-outdoor cat door that will serve as the entry and exit to your enclosure. Use the saw to trim two of your 2-foot posts to fit the height of the existing cat door. Cut the third post to fit the width of the cat door, less four inches. Nail the third post in between the other two, then nail this mini-frame onto one of the 5-foot posts so that it makes a small door your cat can use to enter and exit the cube.

  4. 4

    Staple one edge of the chicken wire to one corner of the cube and wrap it all the way around, stapling it securely to each post. Use baling wire to fasten the edge of the wire to the post where you began, so that you can undo the wire and gain access to the enclosure in a hurry if necessary. Cut the excess baling wire away with the wire cutters. Depending on how wide your bale of chicken wire is you may need to wrap again, higher, to completely cover the cube.

  5. 5

    Tip the enclosure onto its side so that you can access the roof. Fasten more chicken wire across the roof, making sure it is stapled securely on all sides. Leave the floor open. If you'd like to give your cats some shade, you could also stretch sturdy fabric across all or part of the roof and staple it in place over the chicken wire.

  6. 6

    Place the enclosure upright again and use the wire cutters to cut the wire away from the small cat door you made in one side. Staple the chicken wire securely to this miniature frame and ensure that no loose wire ends will scrape the cats as they go in and out.

  7. 7

    Set the enclosure tightly against the indoor/outdoor cat door and make sure the cat flap swings freely. It's vital that the enclosure fits snugly against the door. If you're worried about the cats nudging the enclosure away from the door and escaping, drive several nails or screws into the house siding 5 feet apart and use baling wire to secure the enclosure posts to the nails or screws.

  8. 8

    Allow your cats plenty of time to discover the enclosure on their own. You might also consider furnishing it with multi-level platforms or other cat furniture and something for them to scratch on.

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